Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy’s presence in the Man Booker International Prize 2013 shortlist has sent Indian interest soaring in the run-up to the announcement of the winner in London on May 22.
The buzz around the £60,000 (Rs. 50 lakh) prize, awarded every two years to a living author, has started on social networking sites.
Ananthamurthy, 80, is the only Indian among the 10 writers to have made it to the final list of the prestigious prize, which is different from the better-known Man Booker novel-of-the-year prize.
The Man Booker International Prize is awarded for a lifetime’s work and is open to authors of all nationalities whose work is available in English.
Padma Bhushan awardee Ananthamurthy, considered to be one of the most important voices of the “new movement” in Kannada language, has written five novels, eight short story collections and three poetry collections that have been translated into other languages.
Best known for his 1966 novel Samskara, he was also shortlisted for DSC Prize for South Asian literature in 2012 for his novel Bharatipura (published in English in 2010).
Ananthamurthy studied English literature at the Univesity of Mysore and earned his doctorate from the University of Birmingham.
Other finalists of 2013 are Aharon Appelfeld (Israel), Lydia Davis (USA), Intizar Husain (Pakistan), Yan Lianke (China), Marie Ndiaye (France), Josip Novakovich (Canada), Marilynne Robinson (USA), Vladimir Sorokin (Russia) and Peter Stamm (Switzerland).
Previous winners of the award include Canada’s Alice Munro, Nigeria’s Chinua Achebe and Philip Roth of the US.